My name is Julia Delorimiere and I am an undergraduate at UB. I am a member of the St. Regis Mohawk tribe of the Six Nations and I am a proud Indigenous student.
After reading the highly offensive piece in regards to Columbus Day, I couldn’t help but to feel a great deal of sadness and anger. This article is seething with inaccuracies, misinterpretations and “facts” that are very far from the truth. Columbus and his army directly contributed to the murder, rapes, and traumatization of indigenous people. These committed atrocities against Indigenous people decimated their populations and terrorized future generations. To celebrate Columbus, is to celebrate a genocidal individual with malicious intent and self-righteous intentions.
These are some of the truths the author overlooked on Columbus:
He enslaved Indigenous people for means of getting gold. He sold young Indigenous girls into sex slavery, some as young as 9-10 years old. He raided Indigenous villages for sex and sport. He practiced a sport where Indigenous people were hunted by war dogs, and sometimes feeding live babies to the dogs in front of parents.
This is just a brief, and non-exhaustive insight into the kind of “hero” that Columbus was said to be in that article.
A selfish hero that sought to destroy the lives of Indigenous men, women, and children and erase their culture completely. The reference to Columbus as a hero is such a sorrowful idea to consider.
Another egregious claim made in the aforementioned article: Indigenous people were not victims.
This claim is dehumanizing. By undermining the continuous struggles that Indigenous people have faced in the past, and still face to this day, is atrocious. The author in the article also claimed that Columbus was only human and “made mistakes.” However, these horrific incidents were clearly not a “mistake” and were a result of utterly malicious motives and racial prejudice.
I am deeply disappointed that this article was published as it encourages the continuous marginalization of my people. The publishing of this article is completely ignorant of Native American students attending UB. The lack of consideration and decency and research efforts in this article is horrific. Not only is it appalling to Indigenous students and communities, but it is an embarrassment of the author themselves.
I appreciate your time and hope you can consider the Indigenous students on campus more thoughtfully. Feel free to publish anything from this email or my tweets. Again, thank you for your time.
Julia B. Delorimiere